Blended Family B3 Conference / Seminar

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BLENDED FAMILY Lessons from a Walmart Morning


Follow this guys lead in your Blended Family.

It was a recent blustery, snow-filled Saturday morning and I was off to grab some waffle mix, eggs, milk and cantelope for a 'Dad's Waffle Breakfast Morning'.  Not enough Saturday's free, so I was excited to enjoy that family tradition.  Good 'bonding' time and hey, I even like my own waffles, so while the kids slept I went to Walmart early to grab the 'stuff'.

As I thought I would be in and out, little did I know I would leave the store with much more than food for family, but bigger than for life.  To share with you.

While I was in the waffle mix aisle, I could not help but overhear the joyful voice, from the next aisle over, of a youngster repeating his Father's words and mentoring.  I heard the little voice say 'I am a happy boy!' repeating his Dad. Then it was 'I can grow up to do great things!' following the coaching, then an interesting comment that really sparked my interest,  'I look for the good in people!' followed by 'God made me special!'.

By this time those of you that know me, understand already that my cart was wheeling around the corner to go meet this 'Super Dad'.  Surely I thought I would find Zig Ziglar's first cousin, Anthony Robbins himself, or maybe just some high school football coach in a cap with a whistle around his neck who knew the power of inspiring his players.  Or perhaps one of those 'hired WalMart Greeter' people who usually are fairly fired up individuals themselves.  They seem to naturally have a smiley face on and love people thanks to Sam Walton's legacy.

You see the voice I heard, but could not see, from across the top of the waffle and cereal aisle divide certainly was certainly a character shaper and a giant of a man.  I wanted to meet him and shake his hand!  Tell him I love what I heard!

So when I spun my cart down that next aisle and looked ahead I did not see any of those wondermen of motivation I spoke of, but instead a man in a torn overcoat, scraggly beard and a weary walk.   After greeting the man and telling him how powerfully he impacted me from across the aisle top, he simply said 'I want Joey to grow up with more positive voices in his little head than I did'.  God's gonna make him better than me'.  Wow!  After hugging the man and telling him God's already blessed this little guy with you, I asked little Joey 'are you happy?'.  He smiled big and blurted out 'I'm a happy boy!'

I had earlier especially been taken by the boy following the wisdom of... "I look for the good in people". Worth repeating. 'Look for the good in people'.

Especially in stepfamilies, too often a parent or child is 'looking for error' in a relationship instead of following that wonderful wisdom...'look for the good'.

Blended Families or any family.   Learn from a scraggly bearded man, who might just have been an angel so I can share this story with you.  Encourage your children.  Be a positive and Godly force that echos into their future.

Scripture shares in Proverbs Chapter 17 and Verse 22...

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Go tell somebody THREE THINGS that you like about them.
It will be...good medicine.  And God just may give you one more step on the journey 'from Broken to Blended to BONDED'.

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Keep Looking UP!

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's 2010! Throw out and bury those OLD TAPES in Blended Families! Be Encouraged!

God doesn't make mistakes. Ask Him to renew you.
The past is past. His Grace and Mercy are new every morning!

We see much hope and encouragement for 2010. I believe it is embedded deep into every person's very being to appreciate 'fresh starts' when times have been challenging. God built us that way. To be OPTIMISTIC about our tomorrow's. To want to have the hope and expectation that we can and will rise up and break through a challenge. So, as we set forth into 2010...let's remember what....

'Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.'


Here's a shout out to those 1974 high school classmates with whom I shared 8 track tapes. Who could ever know that in 2009, I be warmly recalling and 'blogging' about Mike Behne's black and white Chevy Impala, hanging out with some 'best buddy names you ever have heard of' like "Behne", "Kozy", Scholzy", "Leroy" and "Doley", and that we drove around in listening to Bachman Turner Overdrive sing 'Takin' Care of Business'. On a eight track tape. Now...I am "Taking Care of GOD'S Business". We've come a LONG WAY from those days on the country roads of Nebraska. Miss those guys, but not our antics. Look up 'stinkin' thinkin' in a dictionary ...picture of us.

Sometimes 8 track tapes, reel to reel recorders and now even cassettes sometimes seen so out of date and irrelevant, that we laugh about them. Why can't we do that in life?

Often the wounds and brokenness of divorce carry over to the new marriage and fully discovering your 'fresh start' blended family joy. Often, historic, out-of-date opinions and 'commentary' from former spouses, or parents, or friends, at the workplace, or even churches keeps coming up. We 'hear' and let the 'old tapes', the old stories, the old messages dampen our spirit and our new family.

The "old tapes' messages come in the form of 'well, she'll never change' or 'he's a loser', 'he can't handle being a Dad' or 'she won't last with that guy' or 'he's always late' or 'that step-parent never plays with the kids' or 'teacher, call me, cause he'll forget' or whatever those 'old tape' sounds like.

They are not YOU. Maybe it's the OLD YOU...but YES YOU CAN start anew. We believe in YOU! God believes in YOU!

We say at The Bonded Family..."Throw out those OLD TAPES".
God offers you a fresh start.

Don't let your past cloud your future. Make amends. Say your sorry where you need to. Call your former spouse, children, friends, whomever and ask for peace. Foremost Pray and truly ask God for forgiveness and trust in His rue and faithful promise of a second chance. God is the place to go for second chances. Some of us He gives so many chances we wonder just how big is our loving God. Grace is amazing. We are going to make mistakes. Only Christ was perfect. God's promises are real. Count on them.

Become the NEW you. Don't beat yourself up over "old tapes". Throw out the 'old ways' and make your life an iPod-like exciting new message. Then 'download' positive and encouraging messages from the Bible.
What you put into your mind and heart is the direction you will take. What you read, listen to and take in is BIG. Take God's word into your heart. We encourage you for 21 days to pray daily, more like three times a day for your marriage and family. THEN...WATCH WHAT HAPPENS! You WILL SEE great and wonderous things...and say 'Wow! How'd that happen?'

satan (never give evil a capital letter) wants you to fail. Remember John 10:10 'the evil one comes to hurt, kill and destroy, but I (Christ) have come that you might have LIFE and have it more abundantly'. Take this to heart. Don't let the enemy get you to hear in your heart, mind and soul that your aren't worthy of God's love, His promise of a new day, and the creation of a new and WONDERFUL FAMILY!

In closing...these words from scripture grabbed people's hearts for centuries as much as they were made for YOU this very day to hear.

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." 2 Corithians 5 : 17

You ARE a NEW creature. The old (tapes) are gone! Rejoice.

For Coaching from a member of The Bonded Family team, as a 'fresh start 2010 kickoff' we are offering a special Blended Family Coaching Program. For $90, we'll extend a survey for your 'Today We Start Fresh' review and analysis, one 40 minute get acquainted visit and 3 follow-up coaching session for 20 minutes each. Total coaching time 100 minutes for $90. We'll listen, assess, encourage, suggest practical ideas and pray together.
This is a limited offer to the first 10 couples who desire blended family coaching.
Write us at for more information.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Blended Families - Just Play YOUR BEST!

Stepfamilies, Just Play Your Best For One Another!

Do you have a favorite Christmas song? One that as a child you really loved? I did. The LITTLE DRUMMER BOY. Loved it!

This last week, Trace Thurlby, a friend and solid man of God was sharing a Christmas message to a luncheon group and he put the Drummer Boy song into special perspective. I immediately thought 'Hey there's a message in their for blended families too!'.

Trace said...'listen to the lyrics of the carol'. The words stood out as a thought to share with you, our blended family readers, to share encouragement and hope and inspiration. Inspiration from the Little Drummer Boy.

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum Me and my drum.

Sometimes the holiday season can be challenging for blended families. Everyone wants to have time, and relationships. The dynamics of multiple houses can create emotions and conflicts for schedules. We also strive to make sure that gifts to children are special and memorable so the kids come away happy. We're sometimes called to balance any step-sibling rivalries. The extra efforts can place undue stress on marriages and families. It truly is a God-sized challenge that indeed requires seeking His wisdom in all things.

Remember, you are not alone if the 'other parents' house doesn't share well, or there is 'gift competitiveness'. Remember that Little Drummer Boy? He gift was merely playing his drum, while the "King's" brought lavish gifts to the baby Jesus. In stepfamilies, one house may try to be the "king", the better gift giver, or be the 'primary' house. A parent trying to be a 'better than you' parent is truly showing their insecurity. A fundamental position of any truly strong and great parent is..."It's okay to love both houses." Encouraging relationships with the other home makes you the parent to be admired.

Be the Drummer Boy...Play your Best! to see these family dynamics throught the eyes of the children. One child may be unable to feel they received an equal gifting. Or they may act out of pressure from another parent. Seek to remember they are not equipped as adults are to filter out all the situations. So be patient with them. Again, God is not done with them or your relationships.

We stand by the coaching to always follow the "Golden Rule". Don't participate in 'stinking thinking'. You're children are watching. They will remember whether you were honorable, or dealt with someone they love dishonorably. We have coached families with children who, now in their twenties and thirties, have turned around on the alienating parent for costing them childhood relationships and memories. It can be very hurtful and hard for the targeted parent to walk through dishonorable behavior toward them 'during' the lost time, yet always remember...GOD IS NOT DONE.

And just focus on...Playing your Best!
When you think you have nothing to give...Play your Best!
It's what the Little Drummer Boy - who had nothing - did.

We encourage all blended families parents, and even grandparents, to be strong and to not let these dynamics affect who we are and 'Whose' we are. God loves us, loves our families and wants joy in this season. He knows the Truth. Remember, your kids love you. They are kids, not adults. They more than likely just want school's out fun and memories.

So let's ask God to whisper gently to 'be like that Little Drummer Boy'.

I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

Just "PLAY YOUR BEST".... your behavior, patience and creating the good memories.

For more tips on Blended Family Holiday ideas visit our recent radio broadcast at:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Celebrating Our Special and Historic VICTORIES in Blended Families

You'll Remember It When Looking Back.

Bob White, a great friend, is a very special man of God who helps us lead our Sunday Blended Family Fellowship at First Baptist Raytown in Raytown MO recently commented about how often times they are special or historic events in stepfamily life. Times when you see real breakthroughs or victories in relationships. We were then discussing Moses and Joshua and how they would 'mark' the occasion when they had a key memory for their people. Right away I thought...'Good Word Bob!' and knew I had to blog about this for all of us to take into our hearts.

In Old Testament times, the people of Israel, upon a victory in a battle, or a special event would build of stone a memorial or marker, sometimes referred to as a stele. They placed together stones, or created an altar where they sacrificed an animal as part of a ritual of giving thanks. This was done in remembering what GOD HAD DONE in the lives of His people. They knew He had brought them through the trial.

They did so for the purpose of 'marking' the moment or time. So years or decades later, the 'history' could be marked that indeed the Lord had been good and brought them through a challenge or delivered His grace and power and might for just the right occasion.

Examples were when being chased by the Pharoah and the Egyptians, God led Moses to stand and raise his hands and staff and how God made the Red Sea part and allow His people to walk across, later crushing with water the Egyptians as they followed. Also, after Joshua led the people into the chosen land they marked with stones the twelve tribes. These stories can be found in scripture.


As we have seen in our family, often times God will allow a significant event, victory, challenge or dynamic to be overcome in our family. We all have them. It could be a relationship or trust breakthrough. A truthful sharing of a hurt or wound or hidden thought that a child shares with you and you grow closer. It could be a family story that you will all remember as significant in the bonding of your family. Maybe a family vacation that bonded the stepfamily closer to God and each other. Maybe a moment in a relationship with God for a family member.

We suggest creating some form of 'marker' or 'memory' of that particular victory or season you passed through by the grace of God. Perhaps something you hand make. Maybe pick up a rock of some size and write something on it, a date, a memory, whatever and keep it somewhere like a garden or pathway or somewhere it can be seen occasionally. Maybe it's a scripture plaque or small statue from a bookstore where you could write on the bottom the date and 'special victory'.

We have many of these types of 'markers' around our home. Often, we even forget what's on the back of a picture hanging on the wall, or a small figurine or statue. Then by chance when we come across it and read the date and note, we truly feel the power of God and how he brought us out of our deserts and into His promises.

The point is...celebrate and give thanks to God when you see your family make it through a particular tough challenge.

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Listen to our BLENDED FAMILY TODAY podcasts at:

If you'd like to have us speak at your church or organization, or lead us to a church that might want to host a Blended Family Conference, write us at: info (at)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


BRN...a nationwide Bible teaching broadcaster.
'FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS' your family...
Encouragement and the Challenge we need to Keep Looking UP!

In my part-time role serving as Director of Public Affairs for the Kansas City stations I am blessed to often get to share also about our work with stepfamilies via The Bonded Family. We are thankful for a partnership for families with Bott Radio Network.

Recently in speaking to a Pastor's Appreciation Dinner in Kirksville MO for the BRN station there, I was blessed to hear over and over the impact of God's word upon hearts.

One thing Rebecca and I know for our house, and also from many others we work with on the trail to 'bonding' families to Christ, Christian radio is a strong and mighty tower to keeping families on track. God's promise are real. His Word is sound.

Dick and Sherley Bott, and their son Rich Bott, now have launched over 80+ stations across America. Also heard 24/7 on the internet at the messages of hope and trusting in God are ongoing. BLENDED FAMILIES NEED THE LORD'S STEADYING HAND AND WISDOM. The Bible is still the 'best selling' instruction manual in the world today. There is a reason for that. Discover it.

And when you don't have time to spend in the Word, we encourage you to listen to Christian radio like Bott Radio Network. Your family with be blessed by the messages and lessons shared by many of America's top Bible teachers and speakers.

Until next post....KEEP LOOKING UP!


Listen to BLENDED FAMILY TODAY podcasts at:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


TOM ZIGLAR, CEO of Ziglar Corporation, and JULIE ZIGLAR NORMAN, joined by her husband JIM NORMAN, will be SPECIAL GUESTS on BLENDED FAMILY TODAY.

We are honored to have 'America's Family' on the program Sunday October 4th. Zig Ziglar has inspired, encouraged and motivated America to serve one another for years. His son Tom and daughter Julie continue the legacy through their work.
ZIG ZIGLAR was gracious enough to do a promo for this Sunday's show. We put some pictures of Zig and and tribute to him together on this YouTube video.Our YouTube site is

Visit for more information on how to listen. Email us at

Saturday, August 22, 2009

WEBTALK WITH BOB - Can a Radio Program Really Bond Your Blended Family? YES!

BOARD GAMES can be 'KEYBOARD' GAMES...and a way to BOND.

As you know, we encourage some form of group activity for blended families a lot. Board games, Wii, Checkers, Monopoly, Chess... anything that allows for a focused time of being a teammate or allowing for good, clean, common rules, fun competition.

Another place we've found is the computer keyboard and mouse. Most kids or grandkids like 'making AND spending money'. We've found a way for that...and it can become 'bonding' time. Create an start up small web business together and follow it's progress together as you 'build and bond' a small entrepreneurship together.

There is a weekly radio program available (each Thursday 3 PM CST) called WEBTALK WITH BOB. Bob Sherwood, the hosts offers a fun listener experience as he encourages everyone to be 'Web Ready', and he provides tips and examples of how to get 'Web Ready'. Bob INFORMS, EDUCATES AND INSPIRES people to see how actually easy it can be to create a small website that can actually make money.

WEBTALK WITH BOB podcasts can be heard and they not only offer educational value for any age, but they also open a 'window' of opportunity for bonding.
Bob Sherwood challenges people to explore the opportunities on the web to 'take their passion and turn it into a web business'.

We applaud Bob Sherwood / WEBTALK WITH BOB and join him in this 'challenge'. It's to parents, older brothers and sisters, or grandparents. Invest an hour a week helping a family member start a small website that offers either some product or service to sell. Or using methods learned on WEBTALK WITH BOB, become an affiliate of companies that sell products or services of items the particular age group might be buying.

In most families, often a hobby exists, or someone holds an artistic skills or expertise. If your children are into sports or music, almost every sports or music site offers some form of 'affiliate' programs Bob speaks about. If people / teammates / players buy from the site, you get a small commission, say 5% to sometimes 15%. As we said, why not let you kids earn some spending money AND learn how to be 'WEB READY' all at once. Visit There are archives / podcasts of the programs that speak to 'affiliates', or 'Clickbank' or other ways to make money on the internet.

They key is really the 'doing the start up small web business together'. Cheering each other on! Seeing a check for maybe $45 a month, then $70, then higher. Bigger than the've created a memory and a bond.

LISTEN EACH THURSDAY to WEBTALK WITH BOB. In Kansas City it's on KCTE 1510 AM from 3PM to 4 PM or it can be heard live via streaming audio at click Listen Live button.

We know of WEBTALK WITH BOB and Bob Sherwood through KCTE 1510 AM, the station that each Sunday morning our own radio program is on. BLENDED FAMILY TODAY is on Sunday's 8 AM to 9 AM. Likewise wherever you are you can hear it via:

KEEP LOOKING UP ! God is smiling at you and wants you to find joy in Him.